Tag Archives: Eileen Myles

Tea With Chris: A Beautiful Turtle

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Thursday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Chris: Thanks to their cagey editorial policies, you can only find Hilton Als’ memoir “I Am Your Conscious, I Am Love: A Paean 2 Prince” online if you’re a Harper’s subscriber, which makes it less than ideal as tea. But, well, go buy a copy of the magazine, or just wait for the next Best Music Writing anthology, because Als has taken the most enigmatic of pop stars to be dearly personal. While reading it, I spent several minutes in wonder at the surreal precision of this sentence: “There was more silence, and as it unfolded, I took in his face, which had the exact shape, and large eyes, of a beautiful turtle.” And that doesn’t even reach the purple-bruised heart of Als’ essay, about blackness and queerness and anxiousness in America, about trying to be somebody’s Dorothy Parker when you can only really be their lover.

Eileen Myles cordially sons (uncles?) the retiring Philip Roth.

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Tea With Chris: We Were Collaborators

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Thursday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Chris: When you read this I’ll be in Montreal, scoping out Leonard Cohen’s favourite smoked meat place, so I’m going to keep it minimalistic. This is Steve Ditko’s unyielding door.

I have way too many tote bags, but I’ll buy anything with Eileen Myles’ name on it, so … shit.

If you’re in Toronto and have even five dollars to your name tomorrow, our friend Sholem Krishtalka will do your nails.

Carl: I could spend all day browsing the galleries in this series from the great blog If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There’d Be a Lot of Dead Copycats: They Were Collaborators — which includes members of bands, the casts of plays and movies, writers and editors, producers and musicians, directors and actresses (who often make cross-referenced appearances in the blog’s other series, They Were an Item, which also contains stuff like this devastatingly sweet shot of Isherwood and Auden), art collectives and comedy teams, even ventriloquists and ventriloquial figures. (Apologies to anyone with automatonophobia.) It’s refreshing to see pictures of famous people at parties together and then reclassify them as collaborators, co-workers — a reminder that this culture stuff is not mostly just goofing off and looking pretty.

They were collaborators: Sonny Rollins and Max Roach

My friend (and co-eponymist) Carl (I just made that last word up) Zimring has one of the coolest academic specialties of anyone I know: garbage. He’s an environmental historian and studies ” how attitudes concerning waste shape society, culture, institutions, and inequalities.” He’s also an enthusiastic music head, and this week he brought those interests together in a fine short essay about (another near-sharer of our name) Karl Hendricks and his new song about a wistful hoarder:  “Why do I hold on to all this trash?/ Hanging tight to the concrete/ ’Cause I lost all the abstract. The song particularly spoke to Carl Z. this week because he is in the process of rapidly packing up — and purging — his own possessions as he is heading from Chicago to New York to take up a new post at Pratt. Good luck with the move, man.

Finally, a good way to purge the hoarded trash in your own brainpan would almost certainly be to listen to Dan Deacon’s rendition of “Call Me Maybe, Acapella, 147 Times Exponentially Layered.”

Margaux: Whales are people. Finally. Or almost finally. Or in any case, the fight is on. They are bigger and older than us and maybe, as Jeff Warren quotes Hal Whitehead, they can scan through each others bodies “So there’s no hiding what one has eaten, whether one’s sexually receptive, whether one’s pregnant, whether one’s sick. Presumably, this changes social life a lot.”  Maybe someday soon when people are on trial for not being such great people, we will be hearing the high pitched and empathetic cetaceatarium plea that people too are deserving of whalehood.

Some human music from The Fugs to go with whale reading. NOTHING. courtesy of sheila heti courtesy of janos mate

I went on Google + for the first time and found this from my other pal. It’s something.

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Tea With Chris: The Poet is a Drag

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Thursday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Carl: I should have mentioned here that I was speaking at this play about Celine Dion, celebrity, self-sacrifice and child abuse last week. However, it’s not too late for those in Toronto to see this fascinating staging of Bliss, by the Quebec playwright Olivier Choinière, translated by Caryl Churchill. I really do recommend it – as The Globe and Mail said, “A disturbing tale about the powerless and the power of love.” Meanwhile, back in Quebec, Choinière has been up to more mischief, which I would call a very exciting bit of parasitic meta-theatre, but which his unwitting and unwilling collaborator called “theatrical rape.” What do you think?

The complicated matter of being the Other Seeger. And that’s even only superficially getting into the contradictions of class and slumming and noblesse oblige.

Here’s a nice account of that Pop Conference thing Chris & I were at last week.

Finally, if that’s just too much human business for you, turn instead to the ursine peoples: 1. Bear on trial. 2. Bear gettin jiggy.

Chris: Speaking of the Pop Conference, reading Jonathan Bogart’s paper about “Urban Romanticism in Latin American Music Between the Wars” may make you wish you’d been there (the panel, the gathering, the city).

Speaking of New York, Edith Zimmerman interviewed one of its great adoptees, Eileen Myles: “To decide to do ‘this’ as a living is to invite barbs that generally pile up around gender and power. The poet is a fag, the poet is a drag, the poet is righteous. But really I think people resent our freedom. Our choice to keep doing something they may have done badly when they were younger and were full of feeling and to keep doing something that supposedly anyone can do – making something out of something as practical and mundane as language is to brand oneself as a lifelong fool rather than merely a fool in her youth. People feel sad about what they disavowed to become who they are now.”

Speaking of people who made art in the 1970s, my friend Sarah Nicole Prickett uses Cindy Sherman’s big Guggenheim retrospective as an opportunity to consider Francesca Woodman’s photographs, mercurial identity as survival strategy and why it will “never not be physiologically and psychologically harder to be female.”

Not speaking at all, just pressing a drum machine into the robotically funky patterns of ’80s Prince, look at the debut jam by aforementioned Korean/Chinese boy band EXO.

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Tea With Chris: Bad Mirror

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Friday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Chris: This is kind of eerie. I like that his uniform appears to be pink, though.

“The deputy leader of Sunderland City Council said she hopes Margaret Thatcher ‘burns in hell’ on social networking site Facebook.” My dad’s hometown! “Social networking site Facebook”!

Send a suggestively blank email to Eileen Myles (well, okay, to her publisher) and she/they will give you something good.

Like Carl, I’m going to indulge in a bit of self-promotion: Godard films as R&B songs.

Carl: Quick! Today’s the last day Toronto artist Seth Scriver and Vancouver’s Shayne Ehman are raising money to make the second half of their autobiographical cartoon Asphalt Watches, about driving across Canada in sweaty-little-monster form. Check out the preview on Indie Gogo and I think you’ll agree you want to see the rest.

This syllabus is a very useful resource for any teacher who wants to address issues around the Occupy movement, or anyone who wants to do more independent reading on same. The course itself presents some interesting anthropological-pedagogical-political issues: The professor seems to be asking the students to take part in the movement for a grade. How would other activists feel about that? How about other teachers and students? I’m not against it – it’s not a mandatory course, after all. Just intrigued. Her argument: “As a class, we will have scrupulous contingency plans in place for each field visit, including buddy-systems, phone trees, and meeting places determined in advance. As a regular participant in the Occupy movement, however, I can say with absolute certainty that there is no foreseeable risk in teaching this as a field-based class. On the contrary, the risks of disengaged scholarship seem more profound.”

Dept of Self-Promotion: Ann Powers, Daphne Carr and I were asked to discuss Simon Reynolds’ much-praised Retromania book for a panel discussion on Bookforum. That was a couple of months ago, but the results just went up on the website this week. When we had the exchange it seemed like we were the only negative voices on the book (I also wrote about it on Slate last week). But now other dissenters are starting to surface, too.

Now, what kind of cultural recycling is this? “HI!! JACK! You’ll find your fortune in Chinatown! … Your love is broken into Five Easy Pieces!”

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Tea With Chris: Making a Bad Ting Good

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Friday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Chris: Via Tom Ewing, I discovered Rastamouse, a new BBC kids’ show about patois-speaking rodents and the importance of communal rehabilitation. Each episode features Rastamouse’s crew “making a bad ting good” by persuading some wrongdoer that life is so much better irie. Now I can put my hypothetical children through musical and ideological indoctrination at the same time!

Friedrich Engels: secret cartoonist.

Also at Comics Comics this week, Joe McCulloch posted a terrific essay about Steve Ditko, grappling with that great artist’s series of avant-garde Randian tracts: “A View of Justice! is, by my estimate, the most ideologically extreme thing Ditko has ever made, depicting a heroic doctor brought off a tourist bus in a vaguely South American setting to tend to a Communist leader shot down while fighting fascist occupying forces. The doctor is not a resident of South Park and therefore the truth does not, in fact, lay in the middle; instead, he rejects both as forms of Force and idealistically refuses to operate on the wounded man. A horde of unsuspecting bystanders are gunned down as a result, which is terrible, but the Hero castigates his agitated fellow tourists for spouting meaningless irrational contradictions and delivers a rousing seven-panel speech on the practice of Justice.”

Eileen Myles: “I wrote five pages of pussy wallpaper and gave it to the editors at VICE who did publish it but confided in me that the money people really had to be convinced that it was not entirely disgusting. With all the dirty and violent and racist things that VICE has done, this was um a little troubling. Do we really want to send that kind of message to our readers. What kind of message is that. I guess a wet hairy soft female one. I mean a big giant female hole you might fall into never to be heard from again.” <3, <3, <3.

Carl: A lot of my friends in New York can’t stop talking about – and skipping off work to go to – Christian Marclay’s show, “The Clock,” at the Paula Cooper Gallery. Marclay’s work for a long time dealt primarily with music – I first encountered him as the world’s most abstract DJ – but now his focus seems to be on film. Not long ago he made a film that compiled hundreds of clips from movies of people talking on telephones. Roberta Smith of the NYT explains pretty well the general concept of “The Clock,” which edits together thousands of movie images in a 24-hour sequence of clocks showing the time that it actually is in the gallery the day you see it, as well as its effect – even if she can’t quite capture what led one person to call it maybe the most powerful work of art she’d ever seen and another friend to compare it seriously to the Sistine Chapel. The exhibition closes this weekend after a couple of marathon showings, at least until, as my friend Jody Rosen demanded, some rich person buys it and install it permanently somewhere that we can all go see it. I post this here primarily in case any of our readers is that rich person.

Meanwhile, someone who was a little bored in the offices of OKCupid has realized that besides being a dating site, they are a research organization gathering data from millions of people about the sociology of courtship and mating. And since they are also a tech company, they know math. So they’ve combined all that in surprising posts like this one, which correlates stats, with graphs, to show what questions you should ask on a first date – to find out if your date is conservative or liberal or likely to sleep with you, without asking any of those questions directly. For instance, if you want to know if they’re religious, find out how annoyed they get by people’s spelling and grammatical errors – people of faith are more willing to give the less-literate a break, while we godless heathens apparently have nothing better to worry about.

Finally: Klout, or, Snobbery: The Next Frontier. (Thanks to Sherwin Sullivan Tija.)

Margaux: Bring your children to Darren O’Donnell! He is looking for families, or children aged 6-12 with an accompanying adult, to participate in a FREE one-hour workshop session at the Harbourfront Centre. Mammalian is looking for feedback and advice for their Monster Makers show.

There are some beautiful colour drawings in the window at Show Gallery on Queen West in Toronto. They are signed by “Katt” and are about $20.

I somehow just ate something called Teriyaki Vibe Help Noodle Salad. It was pretty good.

Art went back to the world and went here to the Philippines’ Malabon City for this nighttime outdoor stage show (thanks to Stefan St-Laurent).

This Laurie Anderson video of her masterpiece “O Superman” somehow floated into my television last night through various internet/ facebook concoctions. It is really something to make an 8 1/2 minute long music video that looks that simple and that captivating. She sure makes it look easy – and essential.

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